Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.
Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.
Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life--and love--outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?
Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.
Before I talk about the book itself, I first must swoon over Alex. He is a “specimen of pure male beauty” … “mussed brown hair”… hazel eyes … and a “chiseled jaw shaded with just the right amount of stubble.” Whew. I’m still fanning from our first glimpse of him. Add in his killer grin, great heart, and general swooniness? HUBBA HUBBA!
But in all his well-intentioned goodness, he inadvertently makes a mess of poor Rachel’s life. (We forgive him, of course, because … hello… did you not just read that paragraph right above this one?) And I love the fact that Laureano doesn’t let him off the hook as easily as we might be tempted to. Nor does she let Rachel get away with her own flaws. Together, they take the burnt mess of the great social media debacle and reframe it into a deep spiritual message that nothing is wasted in the hands of God.
This isn’t a mushy romance with little substance. In fact, I don’t think Laureano could write one of those if her life depended on it. Instead, we are treated to a deliciously swoonlicious romance inside a greater novel. A novel peppered with scrumptious food platings, descriptions that put you right in the heart of the urban-chic Denver setting, layered characters (main as well as supporting), and an authentic sincerity to the message.
Bottom Line: I’ve been waiting for what feels like FOREVER for a new novel by Carla Laureano (no, i’m not melodramatic at all, I promise), and The Saturday Night Supper Club not only hit the spot – it completely exceeded even my high expectations. This is a gourmet reading experience, fine dining of the written word. Yet at the same time, it’s completely relatable and engaging. Along with subtle humor and friendly composition, Laureano seamlessly weaves into this story the message of trusting God to waste nothing that comes your way (even if that involves a disaster of your own making) – as well as the strength that comes from true friendship and the breathless beauty of true love. Highly recommended both for foodies and for those of us who are afraid of the kitchen!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
I was entranced by this book! There was such a vibrant sense of the setting, the food, and the emotions of the characters. I loved that the author set the location in her hometown and based the restaurants in the book on some of her favorites there. The story starts with such a great conflict, and I was invested from the get-go with how the journey of Rachel and Alex would progress. There is a great balance of backstory and how it affects the present day, and anticipation for what the future holds. I loved the details of what it takes to be successful as a chef and the family-like dynamics of the food industry. The food trucks were my favorite, they seem like such a fun and accessible way of trying new and adventurous food. Rachel's two friends Ana and Melody provide a strong support for her as she navigates new circumstances in her career and personal life, and I hope the author uses them as main characters in future stories. The themes are deep and the author explores them thoughtfully through her characters, which made it such a rich reading experience and had me thinking about the issues in between reading sessions and how they apply to myself and the world. Highly recommend!!!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
The Saturday night Supper Club is a deliciously smart romantic comedy that you will want to savour to the very end.
I enjoyed everything about this story, from the wonderful relationships between Rachel and her friends. To the beautiful camaraderie and sweet romance between Alex and Rachel (sigh). The tantalizing descriptions of the food and scenery, that made everything about this book awesome! I never even knew what a Supper Club was until I read this book but I totally want to go to one now!!
Rachel was great character to read, outside she's this driven and disciplined chef. But when you get a closer look you see that she's really compassionate and cares deeply for her friends and the people around her. Due past hurts' she puts all or focus into her career and the food she creates, but she has a desire for more. I thought it was great just seeing her character evolve throughout the story.
Alex Kanin, oh my goodness y'all! I had such a book crush on him while reading this story! Not only was he a total cutie! He was a man of good character. I thought he was funny, and thoughtful. He was just a great balance to Rachel's character. Oh! How can I forget how can I forget the beautiful things he said!!! (tear) I was like "you sir, are a joy and a delight!!
What I took away most from this story is with God nothing is wasted. Eventhough you go through setbacks, it's never too late to start again and have something greater than what you could ever imagine. That's what I love about good books, not only are they entertaining but they speak to the heart. I think the author did an amazing job! 5 stars!
I'm so looking forward to the upcoming books in this series. Lol! 2019 can't get here fast enough!
My Favorite Quotes
“If God had wanted you to be anything other than who and what you are, He would have made you that way.”
“I might succeed or I might fail spectacularly. But I’ve let other people tell me who I am and what I should be for far too long.”
"The sky looked like a rainbow, deep reds and oranges near the horizon, coloring wisps of clouds with watercolor hues against a fading blue sky."
"I love your independence and your toughness. I love the fact that you throw yourself into your endeavors like they’re life or death. I even kind of enjoy your bossiness. But, Rachel, believe me when I say you are all of those things even if you never step foot in a kitchen again. You may be a wonderful, talented chef, but it’s not all you are.” He took her face in his hands. “You are not the sum of your accomplishments or your failures."
I read half of this and then had to skim to the end because I couldn't stomach it.
I loved the opening premise—the details about chef, restaurateurs and fine dining reminded me of the grown up versions of Ratatouille. It was fairly well written and the minutiae regarding food and eating were mouthwatering.
HOWEVER, the romance was utterly preposterous and had me groaning and laughing out loud in disbelief. Essentially, the relationship was a lust-a-thon that they were trying to pass off as a divine blessing?
I was truly disappointed. This book started off as a love song to cooking and the wonder of the kitchen. It promised me a story of three independent girlfriends passionately pursuing their careers . . . .and it ended up being pages of stuff like this –
She looked at his defined chest, muscles that she yearned to touch.
She inhaled his scent and felt her heart flutter. (literally, paragraphs just of her smelling this guy).
She felt her face flush as she saw the paragon of male beauty that walked into the restaurant. (yes, really).
Three strong independent women ended up acting like a gaggle of boy-crazed teenagers, carrying on in an embarrassing fashion about the hot men that populate their world like swarms of gnats. (if someone wrote scenes of men talking this way about women, they would be dismissed as players and creepers – so it makes me wonder why aren’t women held to the same standard?)
And, unfortunately, yes, there was an attempt to insert Christianity into this book but, juxtaposed against the absurd romance, it felt unnatural and weak.
I had some trouble with the rating, since I liked the premise and the writing style was okay - but I hated the rest of it. I ended up settling for two stars.
Three and a half stars. Talented chef Rachel Bishop has been heading up her own fine dining restaurant with her two partners. When meat campaign starts after comments are taken out of her context, her life starts to fall apart. She mean to do whatever she can to get her life back on track, even if that means partnering with essayist Alex Kanin whose editorial went viral and inadvertently derailed Rachel career. He is keen to do whatever he can to make amends, for the words that were intended initially to be supportive but only serve to fuel the fire of an online campaign against Rachel. He also needs to overcome the problem of writers block which is topping him from getting a draft of his second book to his agent. What he does not expect is for his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal. This is an interesting look at the devastating affect the press and social media can have on lives. It was easy to empathise with Rachel and to like Alex. Rachel has two supportive friends in Ana and Melody, though sometimes Rachel’s behaviour and reliance on the two friends does sound more teenage than of a woman her age. There is a lot about food, menus, preparation and plating so maybe not the best book to read while hungry. Despite not being a foodie person, I enjoyed the story even if it was a tad predictable. It is written from a Christian view but does not belabour the fact. A light engaging read.
Review title: Christian Romance Readers May Like This?
There's a question mark in my review title because honestly I am not a Christian romance reader. I am also highly annoyed Amazon didn't mark this as Christian romance via my Kindle Store because I hard pass Christian romances. I feel uncomfortable reading about people talking about God and acting as if everything good that happens is due to God and when something bad happens, think that praying harder is what they need to do. I don't know. Probably because I was raised in the church and I feel uncomfortable with anyone pushing their religious views down my throat. This book didn't feel very realistic after a while and I didn't buy what the author was selling via the two leads. Also, I thought the heroine was actually a lousy person (sorry, not sorry). I thought the hero really did psychoanalyze people too much and it started to annoy me. Not going to continue with this series, though I was looking for a good romance series to start.
"The Saturday Night Supper Club" follows James Beard award winner Rachel Bishop. Rachel has been living in Denver for 6 years and is finally a co-owner of her own restaurant, Paisley. Rachel pushes herself and her team in the kitchen, but is starting to feel a bit off. When a restaurant critic who is accused of sexual impropriety is taken apart by a viral essay, Rachel is ambushed by the press. Instead of no comment, Rachel shoots off the cuff and later has her words switched up. From there, everything is in free fall and Rachel is bought up and quickly unemployed. When the author of the original essay, Alex Kanin, tracks Rachel down to apologize, he offers his help in anyway that he can. Rachel starts thinking of ways to get back into the restaurant scene and then uses Alex's place as a location to host an exclusive Saturday Night Supper Club.
So here's the thing, Rachel kind of sucks. We find out that she's fallen out with a lot of female chefs because she walked off a panel that was discussing sexism in the kitchen. Rachel thought it was not fair to do that since she's had a lot of male mentors who have ensured her success. And there seems to be the author wagging her finger at people who think that sexism in kitchens is bad. This book was written in 2018, this is way into the metoo movement and also the articles coming out about the sexual harassment in the restaurant industry (see Spotted Pig’s owner Ken Friedman, Mario Batali, John Besh, etc.) So this is a very real thing and I wanted someone to curse Rachel out about it. Things went from bad to worse from me when once again a reporter asks her about how sexism in the kitchen is terrible and Rachel goes who cares if they are a man or a woman, they don't belong there if they can't cook. (Paraphrasing). So there you go. I just shook my head. For someone who was all about getting out of her religious stepfather's thumb, she sure took his lessons to heart about how a woman should act.
Alex just bugged me. He finds himself attracted to Rachel as soon as he sees her, and then can't write, cause his conscience is bothering him. I never got that even a little bit. He was writing a piece talking about online trolling, Rachel's mouth got her into trouble, not the other way around. Ah well. There are some interesting elements to Alex, but I didn't like how her characterized Rachel after a while. I didn't get why she was interested in him either.
The secondary characters are all fluff and no substance. I know that Rache's two best friends are subjects of the next two books, but I am hard passing on continuing to read this series.
The supper club idea was interesting, but disappointed we only get two supper clubs. that annoyed me since I think you need to have more than 2 dinners for you to suddenly have a comeback. Everything else in the book was Rachel not wanting to get involved, Alex wanting to, and Rachel starting to "dress" up for him. Rachel cooking for her friends to discuss Alex. I think this book would fail the The Bechdel test. Everything deals with Alex, with Rachel occasionally feeling guilty since her best friend walked out on the job at Paisely in solidarity with Rachel. And them talking about me. A lot. The food sounded interesting, and I just wanted more of that.
When these two talked about God though, I really didn't buy it. It sounded so fake. I mean in the end Rachel does something totally out of character and goes well God will provide. Or something. My eyes started to roll.
The ending made zero sense to me based on what came before. I just went okay then and went about my day.
Absolutely nothing interesting happens in this book; it's a massive waste of time. The book just ends abruptly, and left me wondering why most of the story was left untold. The characters were boring, the plot plods along with nothing much happening, and I don't understand how this qualifies as romance when the two main characters kiss about eight times, and profess their love for each other when they barely know each other. Doesn't make any sense. There is no romance in this story; I can easily foresee them breaking up in three months.
Consider this your invitation to The Saturday Night Supper Club. No reservation is needed, just a copy of Carla Laureano’s new book and a few hours of your time. In blending her love of literature and food—she has written an ultra-modern romance sure to appeal to both Christian and mainstream audiences.
I love how much of this book involves food! This is the perfect read for a foodie, but even if you’re not a foodie, you will still be able to appreciate all the wonderful descriptions of food. I love the way this author describes the life of a chef and the food industry. I really learned so much and had no idea the grueling life a chef lives.
The characters in this book are so well written! The two main characters have great chemistry that practically leaps off the page and you can almost hear the sizzle. I especially liked Alex’s character from the beginning. I appreciate his thoughtfulness and willingness to be humble and admit when he is wrong and apologize. He wants to do the right thing and seeks God’s direction in a certain situation, even when the “right” thing could be detrimental to himself and his business.
Ms. Laureano doesn’t shy away from writing about potentially controversial topics either. This story deals with sexism in the workplace and how social media can be harmful (people often feel anonymous and do things they would never do in real life). I think it’s so great Ms. Laureano is bringing these topics to people’s attention through her story.
This book is a pure delight! Reading “The Saturday Night Supper Club” by Carla Laureano is like going to an incredible feast, except you don’t come away with the extra weight gain (you’re just left very hungry).
Content: This author’s writing seems to fall on the edgier side of Christian fiction. I would probably rate this book PG-13. Some examples of the content are: talk of a woman trading sexual favors to succeed in her business; reference to a woman’s butt; reference to drinking with a meal/in a social setting; joking about the “morning after;” a man ogles a woman; references to past verbal abuse; references to past alcohol abuse.
Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars.
I want to thank Celebrate Lit, Tyndale House and Carla Laureano for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
I admit I skimmed towards the end. I saw the ending coming a mile away but besides that, it's purely personal preference. Someone more into the "foodie" (I hate that overused word, btw) experience may enjoy this more. I didn't care to read all the food details and food service details. Likely because of that I never connected with the main characters except to know Alex was too good for her!
Laureano's latest novel, the first in her Supper Club series, is a delight for foodies! There's a delectable amount of behind-the-scenes restaurant and cooking detail, as well as some amazing descriptions of food that will literally have readers' mouths watering for a taste. Rachel and Alex's relationship has everything needed to incite sighs of happiness, yet it is not without trials and tension. That only serves to make it seem more realistic and believable. Add to the above the gorgeous Denver setting, Rachel's BFFs and a subtle yet powerful spiritual message and you have The Saturday Night Supper Club.
Rachel Bishop has worked her way up through the ranks in the culinary world and is now the executive chef and part owner of a busy fine-dining restaurant. When writer Alex Kanin inadvertently calls Rachel out in an article, his words are misconstrued and Rachel's response is taken totally out of context. The result of this giant series of errors is that Rachel's partners buy her out. Now she is out of a job and Alex is in demand for speaking and writing engagements. Yet Alex feels guilty for his role in Rachel's downfall and offers to help her meet and cook for some influential people at a pop-up restaurant called The Saturday Night Supper Club. They begin to grow closer, but things in their pasts make it difficult to trust and move forward to a future together. https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...
The Saturday Night Supper Club will leave you with all the happy feels, silly grins, and swoony sighs. I’ve been of fan of Carla Laureano’s books since Five Day’s in Skye and was stoked when I saw not only another book from her but another foodie book. The flow of the story is such that it feels like you’ve sat down with your girlfriends over a cup of steaming tea and theyre giving you the scoop on the happenings in their lives. I loved Alex’s sensitivity and charm and how he made Rachel feel safe to face things in a way she did never seen the man before. A great message there that I won’t spoil. Speaking of Alex, I LOVED his backstory and the fact his parents were immigrants and he was a first generation American. My own husband and his family came to the US from another country and I think some of the subtle “issues” there are things a lot of Americans can identify with...and also a unique layer to the character that I don’t think I’ve read before.
Charming, witty, and relevant for today … The Saturday Night Supper Club is all that and more. This is the first book by Carla Laureano that I’ve read and I’m instantly a fan of this skilled author’s work.
As you would expect from the book’s description, there’s plenty of food, friendship and romance – but I was delighted to discover a lot more complexity than I expected. The story combines elements of romance and women’s fiction with rich characterization and relevant social issues.
The relevancy of social media gone awry is the catalyst that moves Rachel out of a job she loves into an area of trying to prove her worth as a person. Both Rachel and Alex are extremely appealing lead characters, and rather than what Twitter thinks, Alex sees Rachel as guarded, tough-minded, and determined. As their initial relationship turns into friendship, the romantic tension can be felt and their snappy, witty dialogue is so much fun.
Both Rachel and Alex have difficult family backgrounds that affect who they are today, especially spiritually. Alex has an unusual Russian Orthodox background … “His parents were set in their thinking, their expectations, their disappointment that their children hadn’t turned out to be the people they wanted them to be. It no longer made him angry. It simply made him sad.”
Although Denver’s restaurants and food itself play a big part, this is more of a character-driven story, which I loved, as I’m a simple country cook. Although I didn’t connect with all the foodie stuff, it was fascinating to glimpse behind the scenes into the restaurant world. But those foodies out there will be crazy about this book.
Bottom line: I loved everything about The Saturday Night Supper Club and am eager for the next story in this series. Highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
4.5 Stars! This book was so deliciously good, with a sweet romance, that I just eat it all up.... Excuse the puns... Lol. =)
I love food. I love cooking. And I love writing. Simple facts. And this book has it all. It was very nice fluffy read, different from I normally read. But it was so enjoyable.
The Christian message in this book is very spot on. We need to be careful what we say, how we interpret things. Maybe not always jump to conclusions. Maybe be a little bit kinder, and maybe, just maybe, take a closer look at what's going on before we act on something so small. Let's get real guys.
Rachel, she was so cool! She had a determined mindset where she had a goal and she would go out of the frying pan and straight into the fire to get it. And though she was tough, she also had a kinder, smoother side to her. She knew food, in fact, if she was a real person, I might even go out and try her food. Yummy!
Alex!!!! Okay, I never use his phrase, but he was a cinnamon roll!!! We need more people like him. Someone who can just go out there and tell a total stranger that they were sorry for something they did. Yep, Alex said that! And he was a writer! And he was sometimes just funny. Gah, he was great, he made the romance great, made the book great, and I bet if there was food, even though he's not Rachel, he could make that great too. Speaking of which, he actually did cook in this one scene. =)
Rachel's friends were just the BEST!!! Like this one moment (I don't remember the exact quote, but this is pretty close):
"I just told Alex I would go on a date. What should I do?"
"You go shopping with me!
"Wait! What? No!"
Love it. I love it when side characters get a good role as a side dish.... Umm character. These friends added so much to the story. Though I kinda wish we could've seen more of Alex's best friend, (especially with a certain someone). But yes, this was a two thumbs-up with just the characters alone.
(And Alex's sister, I mean she was great).
BUT WHY NOT FIVE STARS!!!
The main reason why I didn't give it five stars is because, well, it is not the genre I normally read. I'm not saying I can't give books are contemporary five stars, not at all, there are a few contemporaries which have made me dish out the five stars. Honestly, I don't know the whole reason. It could have been my mood; I just wanted some more things going on in it or something. Though, like I said, it was very delightful, fluffy read, so you won't hear me complaining too much.
And well.... I love Alex. I love his writing. And the way he writes essays, even if I'm not a huge essay person myself. Saying that though, I would love to read the full book of Alex's essays and other stuff he has written.... Two bad he's frictional. =(
Content in Book:
1. Mentions of abuse (verbal and spiritual. The guy tried calling her a lesbian for wearing too baggy clothes. By the way, she was NOT A LESBIAN!!! Get a life guy).
2. Mentions of drinking alcohol and getting drunk.
3. Some kisses (mostly the characters focus on their thoughts while kissing).
4. Physical attachments (with some flirting and calling each other sexy and so on, not too bad though).
Will I Continue With The Other Books In The Series:
I might get around to it one of these days. But you all know these TBR's; they're massive!!! But I really would love to read about Melody's story in Brunch at Bittersweet Café. I love her character in this book and SWEETS and bakeries and just YES!!!
Who I Would Recommend This Book To:
Romance lovers. Contemporary lovers. Those who like books with lots of food, about food, cooking food, and eating food.
Special thanks to my good Goodreads friend Chantel for recommending me this book! I LOVED IT!!!
Ya'll know I love food. And books. And foodie fiction, which combines the culinary world and story SO WELL. The latest treat I have had the privilege of reading is the recent release from author Carla Laureano, aptly named The Saturday Night Supper Club.
The Saturday Night Supper Club impressed me in so many ways: from the vivid descriptions of place and tantalizing food, to the unique and relevant social media fallout angle as a story influence, and to the portrayal of a life journey filled with deep meaning and purpose. Perhaps the most prominent, though, is its complexity of characters and their respective interconnected relationships and backstories. These were revealed one morsel at a time, creating a character arc that is all the more meaningful because of the reader's understanding by story's end. This delightful complexity is what will make me proclaim Supper Club as a favorite and best-of-the-year read for many months to come!
If you will allow me to use a food analogy, I will further describe its awesomeness: The foodie atmosphere and eclectic setting are the appetizer, laying the foundation. The character transformation is the main course with great substance. The resulting romance is the dessert, like a salted caramel truffle, ending with a sweet note but not without its "salty" contrasts of reality.
Most impressive to me is that you cannot typecast Alex or Rachel. They are layered so well--- as you get deeper and deeper into the story you get equally deeper into who they are, why they make certain choices, and how they play off of and affect each other. There is a romantic aspect of this story, but it is almost distinct and separate from the personal growth of these characters and their friendship~relationship dynamic.
I just want more of this little story world, Alex's and Rachel's friends, and with the book 2 teaser at the end, I am up to my elbows in bliss because it's about Melody and BAKING!
Thank you to the publisher, Tyndale, for the review copy. This is my honest review.
The Saturday Night Supper Club was a really enjoyable story. It was the first that I have read by this author, but will definitely not be the last. The characters, Alex and Rachel, both had great depth and personality. The author provided lots of interesting backstory for both of them, without weighing down the novel. Their budding romance was also extremely well written and believable. I was definitely rooting for them as I made my way through each chapter.
And while this story revolves heavily around food preperation and presentation, not only foodies will appreciate the storyline. I am not a foodie and I still found myself very interested in all that was described. I’m looking forward to reading the future books in this series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
I love watching cooking shows so the theme of this book caught my attention. This is a well written story that will draw you into the world of a food lover! It has plenty of warm romance and well thought out themes of friendship, integrity, faith and the effect social media can have on our lives now days. You'll enjoy reading about the development of Rachel and Alex's romance and be encouraged by the support of her two friends. Don't miss out on this fun and delightful book!
*Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid nor required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*
If you don't want to think about food the entire time you're reading this, then don't read it! lol It was a fun read and it was full of a lot of food talk but I'm a foodie, so it made me constantly think of food. But at the same time it was about so much more than food. It was rich with relationships between Rachel and her friends, there was romance, and I learned about supper clubs which sound so fun. I thought Carla Larueano did such a good job of characterization and plot building. But writing about food as much as this book covers and making it anything but boring takes real skill.
I really enjoyed this book. I love the way the author brings to life the setting. Denver is a great city and now I want to go visit and eat at all the trendy places. I consider myself a "foodie" so I loved the culinary aspects of the story. The relationship between Rachael and Alex is pretty predictable but the story as whole had some twist and turns. I can't wait to read book two!
The Saturday Night Supper Club is simply delicious. Perfectly put together, this book surprised and delighted me, made me incredibly hungry, had me swooning and craving best-friend chats over waffles and coffee, and made it all too easy to fall in love with the characters, the charming setting, and the beautiful writing of Carla Laureano.
Rachel Bishop has worked tirelessly all her life to realise her dreams of running and owning her own restaurant. But a scathing critique, an online essay follow up, and an ill-timed comment are all it takes to bring her dreams, and her reputation, crumbling down around her. Alex Kanin never meant for his essay on the downsides of social media to have such a negative impact on a chef's career. Determined to atone for his part in the whole thing, Alex apologises and offers to make it up to Rachel. Together, they hatch the idea of a supper club, him the host, Rachel the chef. But neither plan on the effect their partnership will have, both professionally and personally.
This book made me very, very hungry. From the gorgeous cover and the first fast-paced kitchen scene to the supper clubs themselves, this whole book revels in food, glorious food. And served up with all that scrumptiousness is sweet romance, great friendship, and a little save-your-career drama. It all adds up to the perfect combination and The Saturday Night Supper Club is a wonderful story in which to sink. I really, truly loved it!
There is so much to love about this book. The food is obviously a standout. The author definitely knows her stuff, but the average reader (who loves to eat but may have no idea about any of the fancy French terms) won't be left behind, even in Rachel's first-class restaurant kitchen. I loved the glimpse we readers get into this world of fine dining and the men and women responsible for such amazing creations. Friendship also plays a huge role in this book thanks both to Alex and Rachel's respective best friends. Never underestimate the value of an emergency ice cream conversation. There are also more personal layers to the story as Alex and Rachel slowly reveal the depths and hurts of their pasts and how this has impacted their more recent choices. Their growth is such an important part of this story. And then there is the romance. Sweet, glorious, seductive, romance. I'll say no more. But, wow. Seriously.
The Saturday Night Supper Club effortless combines all these aspects and, just like a perfectly plated meal, also offers a little drama. I was surprised by the ending, which took a rather unexpected turn, I thought. It gave an added depth to the characters and the message of the book, and kept the pacing of the story just right.
This book could classify as Christian/inspirational fiction, but I believe it is accessible for and will be loved by all readers. Rachel and Alex share a common faith and their discussions about faith, and where God is leading them in their lives is a beautiful thread woven consistently throughout the background of this story. But the characters also remain realistic, honest, flawed, and upfront, which I loved.
This is the first book I have read by Carla Laureano, but I can guarantee that it will not be the last. And now I shall commence begging, because I desperately want there to be another book in this series. There is so much potential for more. Rachel's two best friends, Ana and Melody, who play such important roles in this story, deserve to have their own books. And that would mean we readers would get to stay in contact with all these amazing characters.
The Saturday Night Supper Club is delightful in every way, and I loved reading every moment of this surprising and beautiful book. Very highly recommended.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
This book will make you hungry. It will make you want to get together with your girlfriends to chat and just enjoy each others company. It will also make you dream of fancy dinners on a balcony with a fantastic view of a sunset that seems to have come out from a painting.
Carla Laureano graciously dwelled into sensitive subjects and gently brought up topics currently trending that, as much as they promise justice, in my opinion, are actually drawing a dangerous line between "them and us". The author discreetly dwelled into this (it may not even have been her intention, but it made me think about this), without naming anything, but just challenging the pillars of life we stand upon about What does it mean to be equal? does finding for space in an easy-to-discriminate-world always means choosing opposite sides or is there a balanced partnership to be found?
Rachel Bishop is a talented award-winning cook. She's all in when it comes to her job. It takes up her full life and she's fine living this way. She has found safety in the kitchen since it once sheltered her during a difficult time in her life, and since then she has never looked back, only kept going, kept fighting to grow as a chef. So she has a sense of security in her work that makes her capable of ignoring coarse opinions and confident enough to not have to advertise her personal image too much to attract clients. She knows the quality of her food will keep people coming.
But this supposedly discreet side of her hides an insecurity so deep she might not even be aware of how much it has been keeping her from truly living. Until one day she loses everything and has to rebuild her career, her reputation, and her influence. What she doesn't expect is that the perfect person to help her do so is talented writer Alex Kanin, whose essay actually got her in trouble in the first place.
Their relationship built slowly but surely. It was endearing and sweet. But, as much as Rachel saw her walls coming down whenever she was around Alex, she still questioned when disappointment would come and she would wake up from this wonderful dream. Still, once you get to truly know yourself and feel a sense of peaceful rightness, you might just see where success authentically stands on, and discover that fallbacks and failure can be dealt with so much grace and hope to allow you to dream again.
**I received an ARC from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review
Rachel Bishop is a rising star in the world of gourmet food. Along with partners she has her own restaurant, Paisley, a place where her food is rapidly earning itself a reputation. All feats she’s earned the old-fashioned way, by her own hands and hard work.
Alex Kanin is a freelance writer who’s rebuttal response (about the danger of social media) to an article belittling female chefs backfires. When his piece earns syndicated attention, Rachel’s comments to the media are taken out of context and as a result, Rachel loses everything.
Feeling partially responsible, Alex reaches out to this stranger, and before either of them knows what comes next, Rachel finds herself working with Alex. To rebuild her reputation she realizes she actually needs Alex’s help… but first, she also needs to find herself.
If my memory serves me correctly, this is the first novel by Laureano I’ve read. This novel, the first of a series, seems to debut a different tone than that of her prior works, while also playing into a specific cultural phenomenon. It’s a kind of play on a popular movement with its own spin on the topic. To say more doesn’t feel necessary since I have contradictory opinions in comparison to the masses, but I will say, when reading through that prism, this book is interesting. That said, this novel is so much more this than one dimension, and it’s well worth a second look.
“You are not the sum of your accomplishment or failures.” ― Carla Laureano, The Saturday Night Supper Club
From the characters all of whom are memorable, witty and vulnerable to the unique “foodie” adventures and places, this novel sparkles. Rachel and Alex don’t get nearly enough page time if you ask me, but what’s there crackles with electric and aching chemistry. Between this and the witty text peppering the pages, The Saturday Night Supper Club is a winning novel from the talents of Laureano.
Smart, complex and delightful, this story is sure to charm anyone looking for a new novel experience, especially those who enjoy Katherine Reay or Hillary Manton Lodge. It’s classy and of course, as one would expect, is chocked full of appetizing moments.
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC copy of this book; all opinions are my own
Rachel Bishop is a chef in Denver. Not just any chef. She is a James Beard Award-winning chef who owns her own fine-dining restaurant. . .that is until everything goes wrong. Or maybe that is when everything started to go right for Rachel. The Saturday Night Supper Club is just "the cuppa tea and scone" that this foodie needed to read.
Rachel is pushed out of her business after an on-line snafu with social media and a tabloid goes awry. Essayist Alex Kanin is the writer who feel responsible for Rachel's tarnished image. He vows to help her repair the damage if she wants him to--and much to her own surprise, Rachel takes him up on it. The rest of the book details their adventures both in the culinary world and in the dating world.
I enjoyed this first book in the new Supper Club series. I liked that the book included realistic characters. It was clean, romantic fiction. There is some talk about God through the book, but not a lot until near the end. The characters are learning to have relationships with both each other and God in the end. I don't want to include any spoilers here but there were a few things in that part of the book that really spoke to me.
I purchased this book from Tyndale.com. They have a rewards program for those who are interested:
I always love it when I expect one thing from a highly anticipated book and I come away with so much more. My little review won't be able to do justice, but I'm still going to try!
"The Saturday Night Supper Club" has been on my must read list for months, and I was thrilled to get an advance copy to read (GoodReads giveaways are worth the effort!).
I knew the basics of the story. An award-winning chef gets tangled up in the controversy surrounding an article and review that go viral, and she ultimately loses all she's worked hard to achieve.
Said article writer then reaches out in apology, and to make amends, he offers his help as she begins a new and exciting venture, called The Saturday Night Supper Club. It's all things food and a decent romantic tale.
But Carla Laureano's novel is about so much more. It's about being true to how we're made, investing in people with our gifts and talents. About taking risks and revealing the truth about ourselves, becoming vulnerable as we become transparent.
It's about realistic and not so realistic dreams, and what we're both willing and required to do to arrive at those dreams fulfilled. And it's about a man and a woman who fall in toe-curling, squeal with delight, remember what it was like love.
And other things like that. Friendships, partnerships, and relationships. And it is so, so good. I'm actually a bit upset with myself for devouring the story so quickly! Now, I'll be waiting forever for the next book to release!
Although I'm more of a buffet or roadhouse diner myself, this behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of fine dining is fascinating and honestly, a little bit exhausting! I assure you, readers do not need to be hard-core foodies to enjoy the culinary background in this delicious romance!
Rachel Bishop is an uber talented and insanely dedicated chef. Rachel's passion for food saturates the story even as she is forced to take a step back and reevaluate her future plans. Alex Kanin is a man of integrity and faith so when his editorial inadvertently sets off a chain of events that leads to professional devastation for a certain chef, he is determined to make it up to her. Chivalry is so incredibly attractive, y'all!
MORE Supper Club stories are on the way!!! I highly recommend this story and encourage y'all to check out the extras from the author's website!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
A fantastic romance filled with fun, friendship, and food! I loved the realistic characters of this book, and I especially enjoyed the inside look into the restaurant business. And the food...oh my. I was salivating while reading. :) An unexpected twist at the end made this a completely satisfying read.
We all love going to restaurants and enjoying a dinner with family and/or friends. When we leave that restaurant, sometimes we are sparked to leave a review either on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and many other places but one thing is we don't know how that review, if negative, will effect the chefs, staff, and the restaurants business. There are people who all they do is go to restaurants and write an editorial in magazine, newspaper, online, and blog. These reviews can be devastating to the business and one's life. Which is just the case in Carla Laureano's newest Fiction book, The Saturday Night Supper Club.
Rachel Bishop is a chef in Denver who has accomplished a lot of things including winning the most sought after James Beard Award to heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. She is living a great life until someone paints a target on her and she is pushed out of the business by her partners. Rachel vows she will do whatever it takes to get her life back. Alex Kanin's editorial went viral and has ruined the life of the chef he wrote about. The only thing he wants to do is make it right and will do whatever he can to do just that.
We all make decisions in life and sometimes those decisions can hurt those we don't even know. That is why we should always strive to leave a review that isn't so harsh. Don't go on social media and bash them, you never know whose life is going to change drastically.
The Saturday Night Supper Club is a Christian/Romance Fiction that makes some great points about things that are happening in today's culture. I highly recommend this book to anyone. You will love it.
“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone."